Exit Music Review SectionMusic Review Navigation Menu

(Domino Records)

While the trio of Fridge sporatically creates electronic-bent post rock music that's always thinking a bit forward, everyone in the group also seem to be incredibly talented at doing their own thing. Kieren Hebden needs no introduction as Four Tet, and while drummer/percussionist Sam Jeffers is probably the biggest egghead of the trio (his day job is website design and photography), Adem Ilhan has created this lovely debut album of hushed folk that may be one of the best things in this sort of genre that I've heard in some time.

Some contemporary comparisons might be the sleepy sounds of Iron And Wine, but Homesongs seems to be a bit more hopeful and willing to experiment. The opening track of "Statued" (which appeared on an early 7" release) moves with quiet acoustic guitar, sustained harmonium wheezes and the emotive vocals of Illhan that sound quiet good even when he stretches into falsetto. The whole thing ebbs and flows softly, giving as much importance to the quiet spaces as the ones with notes. "Ringing In My Ear" follows with an even more buoyant feel with percussion that sounds like it's created from clomping shoes while vocals again soar alongside acoustic guitar. It's joyous and touching and easily one of the better songs on the album.

Me mentioned experimentation above mainly means that Illhan isn't afraid to throw all kinds of odd instrumentation into the mix. In addition to the aforementioned track that sounds like clomping shoes provide the percussion, there are many tracks that have little clicks and clacks and sparkles of found sound. Hinted at by the title, it's a very comfy release that indeed sounds like it was recorded with everyone sitting in a circle in a bedroom in the countryside somewhere. There are a good mix of slower tracks (like the gorgeous and sparse "Pillow") and more upbeat ones (the rollicking "Everything You Need," which would be the feel-good hit of the summer if I had my way). Even though his main group is still on hiatus, Homesongs goes to show you can't keep a good musician from expressing himself.

Rating: 7.75